Saturday, 20 June 2009


It's true. I am a miserable, woeful, shocking, backslider.

Having worn the new plimsolls around the house for a couple of days, I came to the dreadful conclusion that there was not enough room in the toe-box. So it was a trip this afternoon back into the less frequented part of Cambridge where the awfully nice pimply yoof who purports to be a shop-keeper (and is in fact a wonderful shopkeeper, despite his age and skin condition) very kindly took them back and gave me a refund as he did not have any other plimsolls that I liked in his emporium.

So with a heavy heart I meandered heavily back into 'proper' Cambridge and fixed on a beer and double espresso at Don's. Standing there, in my own little half-world, with the whole of Cambridge passing the doorway and Mario expertly coaxing his gargantuan Italian Espresso machine to make the most perfect coffee in the world, the sudden rush of caffeine hit my veins and I resolved to have another go. But this time, I would look in at my favourite outdoor emporium; Open Air.

An hour later I was jauntily clutching a new box of shoes for the great outdoors. Alas, even I could not describe the new beasts as plimsolls. They look like a traditional boot but are made from modern lightweight materials. They weigh 208 grams heavier than the Fastpackers, but they still give me a 265 gram saving per boot over the old faithful Scarpa Nepals. That's 9 ounces per foot. It's a step in the right direction, I suppose...

So - I am no longer a super dooper ultra-light gear fetishist. Sigh... They are jolly comfy though. And Lord Elpus will be happier with my choice too. Can't go frightening the horses all in one go now, can we?

So, a warm welcome to my new "Salomon Quest 4D GTX's" -that's another great mouthful, isn't it? I shall christen them "Slippers".


  1. That's a shame. I can't say I've had the same problem, but I always go one size up in walking shoes now (i.e. size 9 rather than 8 for everyday use). I learnt the hard way a few years ago with severe bruising to my toes with size 8 leather boots.

    Still the new ones look good. In the end it's whatever feels comfortable and fits.

  2. Me too, I've had problems finding happy walking footwear. The KSBs weren’t bad, but Boylans were bad, Scarpas were pretty bad, Raichles, although beautiful were also bad, Hi-Tecs were not good, Brashers were useless, as were the Salomons, though the Zamberlans were nearly good, and Wainwrights, which were the best of that lot. Now I’m trying Inov8s, which so far aren’t bad. My feet are really hard to please.

  3. Hi Robin: It wasn't length that was the problem it was the toe-box depth. I must have exceeedingly muscely or big boned toes! The new slippers have a greater toe-box depth.

    Des: That made me smile! You're almost as bad as Lord Elpus! He has got though hundreds of pairs of shoes in order to find something that passes as comfortable! He's on holiday at the moment so I can be as wicked as I like and he won't know!

  4. They do look very groovy. For others that are interested there's a nice little 3D video availabe:

    For me, they might be interesting for winter walking as I think the Fastpackers might be a bit cool in cold weather.

  5. Alan I look forward to your comments on your new slippers and as Robin said they do look like the right sort of boot for cooler conditions.

  6. Well, it's early days, but I would say that I am definitely 'quicker' in the new slippers than I am in my old Scarpa Nepals.

    Salomon say their sole is made based on a running shoe design - they certainly have less 'rolling resistance' when walking round my local five mile stroll.

    Hey "NB" - when I click on your name looking for your blog details it says access isn't allowed - & I seem to recall that you have a blog - am I doing something wrong here?

  7. Hi Alan, not sure what the problem is, though I had some log in issues here as well. It all seems to be working now.

    Let me know if you still have problems.

  8. Nielsen,

    I case it helps, I couldn't get in y/day but I can get in now. Blasted computers.... *g*

  9. Ah - Finally tracked you down and have joined your merry band of 'followers'.

    I see you were planning a trip to Lapland - whereabouts? I am currently trying to plan for the Kungsleden next year; probably June and July and am trying to sort out transport at the moment.

    I will dig around your blog for more details!

  10. Thanks peewiglet for your comments, in some ways I have concerns that "g" and Apple (I use apple computers) are becoming very large (possibly too large) organizations.
    Alan I have added a few transport links that may be helpful in your planning.

  11. Dear alan,

    'toe box depth' 'grams' less rolling resistance,...I can feel a trip to the fridge door coming on..Can't we talk about bikes instead?

    lots of luv

  12. Bruvver with the hair:

    That fridge door of yours must get a right ol' seeing to from Debbie if you bang on about bikes all the time...

    Big Bruvver.


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